Jakarta Must-haves: Air Purifier and Water Filter in Jakarta

I recently just passed my one year mark living in Jakarta. Whoooop TIME FLIES.

Two things that have improved my quality of life greatly in Jakarta are my trusty IQAir air purifier and eSpring water purifier. If you’re looking to buy an air purifier (a must for Jakarta!!) or water filter, this post is intended to present you with some facts/information to help you make an informed choice.

IQAir Air Purifier

Why the need for an air purifier in Jakarta?

Official figures show that the amounts of toxic pollutants in Jakarta air have grown rapidly over the years, in line with the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the roads. The major air pollutants are — carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, lead and suspended particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less (PM10).

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Air pollution in Jakarta. (Photo credit: pollutionpictures.blogspot.com)

These pollutant particles can sneak into people’s nasal passages and lungs, causing a myriad of conditions like asthma, bronchitis, acute lower respiratory infections (particularly in children), allergies, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

While pollution in Jakarta is still lower compared to cities like Beijing and New Delhi, it is serious enough for the U.S. State Department to put Jakarta on a priority list of American Embassies to be fitted with air purifiers. Air purifiers are capable of capturing a great number of bacterial, viruses, and DNA damaging particulates.

Out of all the air purifiers, why IQAir home air purifier?

When shopping for an air purifier, consider the size of the area it is meant for and what you intend for it to do. Air purifiers can cost from SGD $99 to more than SGD $1500 each.

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IQAir HealthPro® Series at our home.

In general, most air purifiers can remove dust particles. However, ONLY air purifiers equipped with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can get rid of particles 0.1 to 0.3 microns in size.

We have been using the IQAir HealthPro® Series (Swiss made) which features HyperHEPA filtration technology for superior airborne particle removal. IQAir’s HyperHEPA filtration is tested and certified to effectively filter harmful ultrafine pollution particles down to 0.003 microns in size (!!!). This is 100 times smaller than what is achieved with ordinary air filtration technology and 10 times smaller than a virus.

Difference between IQAir and other purifiers.

The HealthPro Plus is designed with a 4-stage filtration process that cleans the full spectrum of airborne pollutants through a series of filters:

  1. Micro-Particle Filtration
  2. Granular Activated Carbon Adsorption
  3. Pelletized Chemisorption
  4. HyperHEPA Filtration

You can read up more on the above filters on IQAir’s website. Here are some before and after pictures of one of the filters we recently changed:

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Old filter after one year of usage (left) and brand new filter (right).

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Underside of filters.

In addition, IQAir HealthPro Plus makes use of a 320-degree air exhaust whereby filtered air is evenly distributed in all directions with minimal noise. Most other air purifiers return filtered air into the room through a small outlet that generates annoying drafts.

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320-degree air delivery with IQAir.

Our  IQAir HealthPro Plus features six fan speeds, a day/night timer, and a filter-life monitor. The filter-life monitor is especially useful because it forecasts filter replacement based on actual usage (i.e. no. of remaining hours left for a filter) and colour-coded lights tell you when it’s time to change each filter (i.e., green = long way to go; orange = gotta change soon; red = change now!!).

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Control panel and remote control.

One important thing to note is that many of the cheap(er) air purifiers in the market use technology that produces potentially harmful byproducts, such as ozone, ions, chemicals and ultrafine particles. Whereas IQAir uses 100% healthy and safe technology to clean the air.

Even though we never ever open our windows in Jakarta (as long as we are at home, the air-conditioner is switched on), our indoor air quality is still not ideal – hence the need for an air purifier.

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Just look at that THICK layer of I-don’t-know-what. If not for our trusty air purifier, we would have breathed all of that in.

During the SARS outbreak (2003), H1N1 outbreak (2009), and haze crisis in Singapore, I was told that some hospitals in Singapore used IQAir air purifiers to clean the air inside the wards.

Even after our stint in Jakarta, we are planning to bring back our IQAir HealthPro Plus with us back to Singapore. 🙂

If you need more information about IQAir home air purifiers, visit their website at: http://www.iqair.com/international/home-air-purifiers.


eSpring Water Purifier

Why the need for a water filter/purifier in Jakarta?

Water from the tap is not safe for drinking in Jakarta because the groundwater is severely polluted. According to Yuki Water Treatment, up to 80% of groundwater in Jakarta is polluted with pathogenic disease-causing bacteria, such as e-coli.

Due to the prevalence of water borne diseases, most locals drink bottled water from Aqua or Pristine. Jakarta homes have a large water dispenser that looks something like this:

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Water dispenser in Jakarta homes.

We didn’t like the fact that the water gallon containers are perpetually reused. When ordering a new gallon of water, we would return the empty containers at the same time. These containers would then be re-filled with water and transported to another household. And the cycle repeats itself again and again.

Displaying IMG_9930.JPG

Gallons of bottled water for use in water dispenser.

Wear and tear from the reuse of these containers can lead to physical breakdown of the plastic, with the possibility of carcinogens leaching into the water. If the containers have cracks or scratches over time (highly likely!), bacteria can harbor in those cracks, posing a health risk.

In addition, some of these containers have been under the hot sun for long periods of time before coming to us (for instance, when used at a ‘warung’ or when transported between places). And heat will certainly increase the rate at which chemicals can migrate from the plastic.

As such, we set out to search for an effective water filter that would provide us with safe, clean, and sustainable drinking water. At the same time, we help Mother Earth by preventing more plastic bottles from becoming waste. 🙂

Out of all the water filters, why eSpring water filter?

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eSpring water purifier at our home.

Backed up by over 25 years of research, patented technology and sold in at least 40 countries, eSpring water purifier provides clean and better quality water right from the tap.

The eSpring water purifier makes use of a carbon-based UV filtration system to reduce more than 140 potential health-effect contaminants in drinking water. Its UV light technology treats water additionally without the use of chemicals.

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UV light technology.

In addition, its carbon-filter technology filters out impurities while allowing beneficial minerals like calcium, magnesium, and fluoride to pass through.

After replacing the old cartridge with a new one, we would usually let the water run for 5 minutes. The first run of filtered water is usually blackish in colour because of the active carbon. After several minutes, the water becomes colourless and is ready for use.

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Carbon-filter technology (active carbon).

Notably, the eSpring water purifier is the first home water purifier to feature a carbon/UV system that meets NSF International Standards 42, 53, 55, and 401. These standards are recognized worldwide for water quality.

It is certified by NSF for reducing more contaminants than any other carbon-based UV filtration system. Let me show you some pictures!

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Brand new cartridge (left) and used cartridge after 6 weeks (right).

Just look at how brown and dirty the cartridge became!! Not to mention that it smelt badly too. Not a pretty sight. :/

The eSpring water purifier is simple to install and easy to use. Maintenance is also easy with single cartridge replacement about once every 6 weeks (depending on your usage).

Cartridges don’t come cheap though; each cartridge costs about SGD $300 per unit. But what’s $$$ compared to health right. #healthisgold

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eSpring water purifier connected to the tap.

With our eSpring water purifier, we are able to boil and drink water from our tap + wash vegetables/fruits/meats from the tap. We brush our teeth with the filtered water too. 🙂

For more information on eSpring home water purifier, visit their website at: http://www.amway.com/at-home/eSpring.

PS: Both IQAir and eSpring did not pay me to write the above review. I just wanted to share good stuff with you guys. ❤ ❤ ❤

One thought on “Jakarta Must-haves: Air Purifier and Water Filter in Jakarta

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